Archive for September, 2009

Part 3: The Key To Success And Overcoming Driving Fear

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

If you haven’t read part 1 of this story, go read it here: Driving Fear Stops People From Living A Complete Life. You can find part 2 here: Things Only Got Worse As The Driving Fear Increased

The key to success for Tony was simple. He very quickly realized that bravery was the key to success with anything. Most people fail, long before they get started, because of fear. Fear has the ability to stop us dead in our tracks, or create action within us, and which one of these two options fear creates depends on us and who we are at our core.

When faced with fear, our natural response is one of two things. In the psychological realm, this is known as fight or flight. You will either freeze in your tracks and die, run like crazy and maybe get away, or you will fight tooth and nail until you win or lose. You will either fight or flight, and Tony used this to his advantage in order to overcome his driving fear.

He realized that he needed to be brave, and that bravery had nothing to do with the fear that he felt. In fact, he realized that he could be completely, utterly, 100%, totally terrified, but that he could still function and that he didn’t need to allow his fear to control and rule him. Once he realized this, he very quickly became empowered to start facing his fear, to find a solution to overcome his fear, and to take the actions necessary to take back control of his life, and to no longer allow fear to rule over him.

Regardless of what you are feeling, there is always something you can do and actions you can take. The problem is that people often times allow their emotions and feelings to dictate their actions, and they very quickly lose control of their lives, situations, and anything else they get involved in because of this.

Take anger for example. When someone becomes angry, they usually lose control very quickly. This causes them to yell, scream, get violent, or any number of other possible actions and reactions. Fear works the same way. When we experience fear, especially when it comes to driving fear, we begin to shut down and withdraw and do everything within our power to remove ourselves from the situation in order to stop feeling that anxiety and fear.

The first thing that Tony did was realize that his fear was controlling him, and that it would continue to control him and his life until he empowered himself to stand up and face it. Until he decided that he was no longer going to be a victim of fear, but would instead use his fear to empower himself and as a fuel to overcome his fear. Once he did this, nothing was impossible, not even overcoming his driving fear.

He used his fear as a fuel, as a motivation, as a driving force to get his life back. When Tony thought about how scared he was when driving, he also thought about everything that this fear had done to him and his life. About how he had suffered for so long because of his fear. He thought about how everyone he loved had been hurt because of his fear, and how he had become dependent on people over the years. It made him angry as he thought about all of this, and he used that anger and that fear as the very foundation and reason to overcome his fear.

Once he gained the tools necessary, and the understanding about his driving fear that he needed, it wasn’t long before he regained control of his fear, his life, and his ability to drive without experiencing anxiety or fear behind the wheel. You must be able, willing, and committed to use your fear in order to overcome your driving fear.

You have to be willing, empowered, inspired to learn, to grow, and to regain control of your life and to overcome your anxiety and fear. You can do exactly what Tony has done, and you can get your life back.

In the next part, we will go into more detail about what Tony learned, and how he began to regain his life, his control, and his ability to get behind the wheel of a vehicle without feeling anxiety, fear, panic, or any of the other negative, unwanted emotions that you often times experience when it comes to driving.

Part 2: Things Only Got Worse As The Driving Fear Increased

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

If you haven’t read part 1 of this story, go read it here: Driving Fear Stops People From Living A Complete Life

The fear of driving only grew for Tony over time, and even thinking about getting behind the wheel of a vehicle would create knots in his stomach, and lump in his throat. He could feel his heart begin to beat faster as sweat formed on his face, and fear very quickly set in. Within a very short period of time, Tony began to experience anxiety and panic attacks before he even got behind the wheel of the vehicle.

Every time after that night that Tony got behind the wheel of a vehicle, he would instantly feel the fear set in. About a year after he had finally gotten his drivers license, which took him 7 tries to accomplish, he was driving through the center of town and went to make a left hand turn. As he did, he went up onto the side walk and nearly hit three pedestrians that were standing on the corner. “I could feel the panic and fear and anxiety in my stomach as I tried to drive. I could see the panic in those three guys eyes as I nearly took them out. I thought for sure I was going to hit all of them and that would be the end of their lives. I laid down my keys and haven’t driven since then, and you will never get me behind the wheel of another vehicle as long as I live” Tony used to tell people.

Every time he got behind the wheel, he very quickly felt his throat close up and his chest tighten making it extremely difficult to breath. He would begin to sweat all over and his hands would very quickly feel as though he had dipped them in a bucket of water. Before he even turned the vehicle on, he would begin to feel the fear and anxiety set in, and a lump would form in his throat. Many times it would get so bad that he would begin to feel dizzy and sick to the stomach.

He would often begin to panic so badly that he would have to get out of the vehicle in order to relax for a moment before trying to start the car up and begin driving. It was even worse when he was out on the road actually driving as the fear grew to the point of being completely unbearable. Images of Tony losing control, hurting other people or himself, screaming, and various other thoughts would begin to fill his head and he would lose complete control of his thoughts. He became convinced that his thoughts would become action and reality, and he soon stopped driving all together.

Eventually it became nearly impossible for Tony to do anything that involved driving. He would become so tense and afraid every time he got behind the wheel that it took everything he had just to turn the vehicle on and get to where he wanted to go without hitting everything he drove past. It wasn’t long before the anxiety and fear completely began to interfere with his social life, his ability to get back and forth to work, and eventually other areas of his life.

Tony married when he was 21, and soon found himself with a son 2 years later. His little boy was the center of his life, but as his son Mike grew up, his inability to drive began to wear on his marriage. Tony was unable to take Mike to school, sporting events, doctor appointments, and anything else that needed to be done. Naturally this all fell on Tony’s wife to take care of herself, and the stress of having to make sure she got to work, Tony got to work, and their son got to everything he needed to go to became to much.

Tony’s wife eventually left him and filed for a divorce when Mike was just 8 years old. She moved out of state, and left Mike with Tony. Without the ability to drive, Tony now needed to depend on anyone he could just to handle the most basic of tasks on a daily basis. He needed someone to give him a ride to work, to buy groceries, to take Mike where he needed to go. Before long, Mike had to drop out of all of the extra activities he was involved in because there was no way to get him there on time, all the time.

Tony began to grow more and more desperate with his situation. He knew that he couldn’t allow his fear of driving to completely control and take over his life. He had lost his wife because of it, and his son was now suffering because of him. It soon got to much to bear and he knew he had to do something about his problem.

He began to look for solutions to his problem because the only thing that bothered him more than driving, was when his family had to suffer because of it. He had enough when his wife left and he had to depend on others for help, but when he saw the look on his sons face when he told Mike that he could no longer play baseball, the knife had been driven deep enough into his heart to make him take action, and take action he did.

After some time, Tony came across a solution that solved his problem once and for all. He had been to doctors, therapists, psychologists, and various other people. He had tried the drugs, breathing, talking it all out, and anything else they could possibly give him to help. None of it worked, and he very quickly grew tired of the games and began looking else where for a solution to his problem. Before long he found exactly what he was looking for, and very quickly overcame his fear and started driving again without the typical anxiety, fear, and panic that he had experienced before.

The third part of the story will be online in two days!

Part 1: Driving Fear Stops People From Living A Complete Life

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

In this 5-part mini course, I will tell you about a good friend of mine: Tony Carnahan and how he eventually managed to get over his fear of driving.

Tony Carnahan, 35, gets out of bed, gets dressed, packs his lunch for the day, and steps outside to wait for the person who will be coming to give him a ride to work today. Many times, unable to find someone who was willing to pick him up, Tony found himself walking the 7 miles to work in order to make a living for himself and his 13 year old son. Work isn’t the only time that Tony has found himself completely at the mercy of other people to give him a ride. Even basic tasks such as grocery shopping, doctors appointments, or just going to the store requires Tony to walk or find someone who will pick him up and take him.

It’s not that Tony can’t afford a vehicle, because it can. Despite living in a rural area that require people to have a vehicle in order to accomplish anything, Tony doesn’t drive, and hasn’t been behind the wheel of a vehicle in more than 20 years. In fact, Tony has never even gotten his drivers license.

You see, Tony and his twin brother used to take their mothers car when they were teenagers in order to meet with friends. He was somewhat of a wild child back in those days, but something changed one summer night. Tony’s brother had decided to take the car, as they usually did, without their parents knowledge. Tony decided that he would drive that night so his brother could relax and not have to worry about being behind the wheel.

On a back road far from civilization, on their way to a friends house, Tony had taken a corner to quickly, slid off of the road, and went down over an embankment completely totaling the car. His brother was flung from the car and ended up spending 4 months in the hospital and physical therapy in order to recover.

That night changed Tony and his brothers life forever. It took his brother 8 months before he was able to walk again without the aid of a cane or crutches. Tony never forgot the image of his brother laying by the car that night with blood rushing from his leg and the bone sticking out where Tony could see it.

Although there are no specific statistics on the number of people who deal with driving fears or suffer from this condition, clinical therapist Stacia Gilbert, therapist for the Hope Foundation in Selinsgrove, P.A., says “Driving fears are extremely common, especially among people who have experienced some type of terrifying or scary situation in a vehicle or who have had a close friend or family member who died or almost died while behind the wheel.”

In a few days I’ll post the second part of this story…